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As Long as We Remember...

December 9, 2011

Being Conservative Is Confusing

Patrick Kjellberg

As much as I am accused of being conservative, I really don’t know what it means to feel like a conservative. I mean there are so many things I don’t understand.


I get the simple things like the National Rifle Association and the passion of protecting the Second Amendment. I believe in the right to bear arms, to protect one’s self, family, and belongings. But even here I stumble a bit. The Second Amendment reads: A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.


It seems that the “arms” that we currently are allowed to bear are really only good for hunting and defending ourselves against the common criminal. Yet, if we learn anything from history, we find that it is government we should fear most. I certainly do, more than I fear the common criminal. Yes, I am talking about everything from false incarceration to democide. In either case the status of our Second Amendment holds no refuge.


Another thing that I don’t understand about being a conservative is the indignation that is sparked from hypocrisy. I understand that hypocrisy strikes a deep cord within me, and I feel the indignation. However, what I don’t understand is how conservatives who feel this way act in such hypocritical fashion, and that others will follow these people. A case in point is Newt Gingrich, a masterful hypocrite himself. He seems to have no moral foundation, whimsically following his primal needs and selfish desires.


Here’s a man who preaches family values, yet, is so eager to divorce his first wife. He wants to discuss the terms of the divorce as she is recovering from surgery. Really, who does this? A man of good judgment?


Then he is having an affair with an employee while married to his second wife while he is propagating an investigation of the Lewinski affair. If that’s not hypocrisy, what is?


Well, maybe this. One of Gingrich's nonprofit groups, Renewing American Leadership, was founded in March 2009 and paid Gingrich Communications $220,000 over two years. The charity shared the names of its donors with Mr. Gingrich, who could use them for his for-profit companies.


Clearly it’s some nut-and-shell game to avoid taxes. As a retired Speaker of the House of Representatives, he receives $200,000-plus in salary, an office, staff and a whole host of other perks. It would seem that if somebody really believed in smaller government, he would have done something to curtail the bloated benefits he now receives. Even President Richard M. Nixon reduced his post presidential Secret Service protection to one body guard.


I can almost understand Newt Gingrich’s pull for money, power and fame as it is reminiscent of Bill Clinton as an insecure ego maniac. Yet, what really confuses me are the people who stand up behind and follow Speaker Gingrich. This puzzles me to no end.


I feel I have to remind conservatives that it is their fault Barack Obama is in office because they chose John McCain to run against him, or what I like to call Bob Dole vs. Bill Clinton Part II.


Will I remain confused as to what it means to be a conservative once again as they attempt to remake the Dole/Clinton election for a third time? Does being conservative mean liking a bad showing so much they are compelled to repeat it time after time.


I guess I must simply shrug off the notion that people want to call me a conservative, as I just don’t understand what it really means.


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